The pilot reported that during the takeoff rotation, the Ercoupe’s nose came up and the left wing rose, but as he looked to the right wing it appeared low and “the next thing he knew” the airplane was going about 45° across the runway to the right, headed for a tree.
He reduced the throttle and applied the brakes while turning left, but to no avail.
The airplane hit a tree at the airport in Collinsville, Oklahoma, and spun clockwise about 90°, sustaining substantial damage to the right wing and aft fuselage.
The pilot reported there were no pre-impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
He recommended that due to the density altitude and a low-powered airplane, it may not have been a good condition for departure.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff in a high density altitude condition, which resulted in a runway excursion and impact with a tree.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA395
This July 2016 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.